What Are The Positives and Negatives of HIIT Training
The days of spending endless hours in the gym is somewhat a thing of the past. The latest fitness craze which is HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) has taken the fitness industry by storm.
Some have even suggested that you can get really good results in half the time.
Whether this is true can be debated. However, the fact that everyone is talking about it and many gyms are running multiple sessions must mean something, right?
For this reason, I thought it might be a good idea to take a closer look at this new fitness craze and try to break down both the good and the bad.
So what is HIIT?
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a high-intensity workout done over a shorter period of time.
It is designed to raise your heartbeat over these periods of intense exercise.
The fact that is so intensive gives you the feeling that you have been working out for hours. You are putting in maximum effort over a short period instead of average effort over a longer period.
Really time efficient
If you are a person that has an extremely busy schedule and don’t have a lot of spare time, then HIIT is ideal for you.
The fact that these workouts can be done anywhere means you don’t need to take time out of your day to travel to the gym. For some, this could be anything from half an hour to an hour of travel time.
You Are Burning More Fat
When your entire workout is of high intensity, this means that you are in fat burning mode throughout the whole workout.
This allows your body to burn fat a lot faster. Not only do you burn more calories during this workout but also the body’s repair cycle kicks in a lot quicker.
Most exercises you carry out in the gym don’t reach these sort of intense levels of fat burning. That’s why it is so effective.
Can Be Done Anywhere
I did briefly touch on this earlier on in the article. HIIT exercises can be done anywhere and that’s what has made it so popular.
You can use weights and machinery if you like but hey are not entirely necessary.
The vast majority of HIIT exercises can be done at home. Exercises like pushups, lunges, and burpees really don’t take up too much space and in some cases, you can use your own body weight instead of free weights.
Increases your metabolism
After you do a HIIT workout, studies have shown that stimulation of the growth hormone can rise by 450%. When this happens it, in turn, speeds up your metabolism.
This has also been proved that it uses the fat for energy instead of your calories.
Having a higher metabolism is double whammy. If you feel better you are more likely going to do more exercise and vice versa.
It’s Not For Everyone
Let’s face it. HIIT training isn’t for everyone. To be clear, these workouts are hard to do, will burn and hurt every time you do them.
Sure, you can relax and take it easy after the workout. However, during the HIIT exercises, you are likely going to be in a lot of pain. For this reason, it’s not for everyone.
If you are not used to working out this way, then you will likely find this really tough to make the switch. Because of the pain and the burn you could also argue that HIIT exercises aren’t that enjoyable.
For a lot of people, exercising is fun and something they look forward to each day.
If you are going through this amount of pain on a regular basis, you won’t really enjoy it. Hence the reason why this is not for everyone.
Can Cause Dizziness
One of the things that people don’t realise when they are starting out with HIIT exercises is the quick succession of the many different exercises. In a lot of cases, you will be alternating between standing and sitting positions.
Don’t forget that your blood pressure will also increase and drop in quick succession too.
For a lot of people this may cause them to become dizzy. If you find that this happens during or after your workout. You would be well advised to take a break and chill out for a while.
Can leave Your Muscles Feeling Sore
Even though the exercises are short and brief it doesn’t mean you won’t get sore.
With high intensity comes the higher risk of damaging your muscles on a regular basis. Some have described this as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
DOMS is basically your body responding to such an intense workout. The fact that you are activating and working so many muscle groups over a short period of time increases DOMS dramatically.
Higher Chance of Injury
We have talked about intensity a lot in this article, but one of the things we haven’t mentioned that much is the speed of the exercises.
Since you are doing these exercises a lot faster than you normally would it means you won’t have as much control over your body movements as you would be doing the exercises slowly.
For that reason, your chance of injury is a lot higher than if you doing “normal exercises.” Of course, as you become more experienced and more comfortable the chances of injury should fall. However, if you are just starting out on your HIIT journey, then take care to control your movements as much as you can.